Dental implants are a viable option for replacing missing teeth. If you’re tired of wearing dentures or self-conscious about missing teeth this alternative maybe perfect for you. A dental implant is the nearest thing to natural looking teeth. Patients that have missing or badly diseased teeth are offered this option to help provide comfort, stability and higher confidence.
What is an Implant?
Implants are cylinder or screw that are manufactured and act as “anchors”. They are artificial replacements for natural tooth roots. Implants are made from materials such as Titanium that are easily accepted by the human body. They can be used for lower and upper jaws. They are directly attached to the jaw bone and gum tissue and act as stable foundations for artificial replacement teeth. Implants, unlike dentures, do not need to be taken out to soak overnight. They help fill your mouth and give you the ability to chew food once again.
Implants are inserted in three-steps:
The implant is surgically placed slightly above the top of the bone. A screw is inserted to prevent debris and gum tissue from entering. The gum is then secured over the implant. For approximately 3 to 6 months a process known as “osseointegration” takes place – this is when the implant fuses with the jaw bone. There maybe swelling and tenderness during the first couple of days; it is during this time period that a diet of soft foods, cold foods, and warm soup is strongly recommended.
Once the implant has fused with the jaw bone, the implant is uncovered and a post is attached to it. The gum is then given an opportunity to heal around the post. The second surgical procedure takes place where replacement teeth are connected with the post. The implant and post serve as a foundation for the new tooth.
A crown is made with specific size, shape, and color (fit to blend with your natural teeth). This crown is attached to the implant post.
Are Implants the right decision for you?
Implants are a good choice for a healthy person with healthy gums and sufficient bone to support an implant. Talking to your dentist about implants being a viable option for you is always a good idea.
This information was compiled for you by the American Dental Association. Your dentist cares about long-term dental health for you and your family and demonstrates that concern by belonging to the American Dental Association. Our dentists are members of the American Dental Association because they are determined to deliver the highest standard in dentistry while going through ongoing programs of professional development and continuing education to remain current with advances in the profession and to provide quality patient treatment. Visit the ADA Web site at www.ada.org.